“You Can’t Compete Unless You Really Are Trying To Know Your Customers”: NAB’s Patrick McQuaid

“You Can’t Compete Unless You Really Are Trying To Know Your Customers”: NAB’s Patrick McQuaid
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Data, technology and marketing are more connected now than ever before. And NAB, who are more focused than data than ever before, can certainly attest to that.

Patrick McQuaid is the general manager of customer data and analytics for NAB Australia – and was a keynote speaker at the ADMA Data Day yesterday.

“I hope I don’t have to convince you of the value of data,” he began.

At this event, he certainly doesn’t – but NAB is a prime example of how data can transform an organisation. Recently, they’ve become more data driven than ever.

“Data driven doesn’t just mean data at the front and data at the back. It means data all the way through.

“Your customers are sending you signals about how they engage with your messages and your communication every step of the way.

“And if your not using it every step of the way, you’re not getting better. You’re not optimising,” McQuaid said.

He went on to explain that without a customers data, companies know very little about them – and therefore cannot provide adequate service.

“To deliver a great customer experience you have to know your customer,” he said.

“And in todays world, knowing your customer comes through doubling down on data and analytics. And unless your gathering that, you’re doing them a disservice.”

“You cannot compete unless you really are trying to know your customers.”

So two years ago, NAB decided to start competing – and transformed its marketing department, centralising data and analytics. Data was now first priority, with marketers starting to work around the data. And it worked.

Over the course of 2017, the open rate rose by almost 200 per cent. That’s 2.3 million extra customers who started opening NAB’s emails.

Using Adobe Campaign, they started getting real-time feedback from their customers on how they were engaging, and were ultimately able to drastically improve.

And that’s what McQuaid came to share at Data Day – his advice for companies looking to transform their own departments and be more data-driven.

“Think big. Have a vision, know where you’re going to go. Work on the architecture. But you have to start small,” he said.

Starting small will allow companies to deliver value quickly. Halfway through last year, NAB increased the amount of emails it was sending to customers. But the large increase in volume decreased their open rates.

“People said: ‘we can see this is worthwhile doing because it isn’t easy’,”McQuaid continued.

His final note was that “driving collaboration is critical to overcoming the culture change” (NAB turned over almost 90 per cent of it’s marketing staff in it’s quest to be more data driven). But McQuaid said the results were worth it.

So what is NAB doing next? “Investing in data, investing in analytics, investing in data, investing in analytics,” said McQuaid.

“We’re not gonna get it right every time. But we sure as hell need to learn when we get it wrong.”

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